(Bloomberg Government) -- Gun manufacturers that market kiddie versions of firearms in California would risk being sued under legislation cleared Thursday for the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The measure (A.B. 2571), which the state Senate passed 56 to 14 without debate, was partly inspired by a child-size version of the AR-15.
California “has a compelling interest in ensuring that minors do not possess these dangerous weapons,” according to the legislation. An Assembly analysis of the bill noted the basis of opposition by the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, which argued that “minors can and do possess and use firearms for a variety of lawful purposes.” California’s vote came as another blue state rushed to finish its own package of gun restrictions in response to a US Supreme Court decision striking down New York’s concealed-carry law.
New York lawmakers were scheduled to vote Thursday on a package of legislation that would add new restrictions on gun ownership.
The New York measures would:
- Declare mass transit, schools, courts, government buildings, places where children gather, health facilities, polling places, and educational institutions off-limits to private firearms;
- By default make private properties, such as restaurants, bars, and businesses no-carry areas unless the owners decided otherwise;
- Prohibit people with a history of dangerous behavior from receiving a permit;
- Require guns to be locked up in vehicles and in homes with children under the age of 18;
- Require background checks for all purchases of ammunition for guns that require a permit; and
- Require at least 15 hours of in-person training before the issuance of permits to carry concealed weapons.
Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) helped negotiate the New York legislation and said she planned to sign it quickly.
More California Measures
Other bills ready for the signature of Newsom (D) would allow citizen lawsuits against makers and sellers of untraceable homemade weapons known as ghost guns (S.B. 1327); require a state license to manufacture four or more firearms per year (A.B. 2156); and allow lawsuits for violating a California-created firearm industry code of conduct (A.B. 1594).
“Our country is in a gun violence crisis and these bills take bold action to save lives,” said Krystal LoPilato, a volunteer leader with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action.
California Rifle & Pistol Association President C.D. Michael has described the legislation as “vindictive retribution from sore losers.”
“Any pretext of thoughtful consideration of proposed laws is history,” Michel, also a senior partner with Michel & Associates PC in Long Beach, Calif., said in an email.
President Joe Biden last week signed a new federal law (P.L. 117-159) restricting firearms access for the youngest buyers and offering incentives for states to set up “red flag” laws.
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